Botany resident, Sean has always had problems with his vision. After undergoing two operations as a child, at 25 years old he has finally discovered a less invasive and much more successful solution – Vision Therapy. Following weekly sessions over several months of Vision Therapy, has provided Sean with techniques to combat his double vision and strabismus (turned eye or squint).
“I had my first operation when I was four and then a second one when I was 15. The surgeries improved my turned eyes and made my eyes look better, but created new problems, including double vision”, explained Sean. “My double vision had been getting worse and I didn’t want any more surgery so I Googled alternatives and read about Vision Therapy, something that I hadn’t heard of before. My optometrist knew that Eyecare Kids provided vision therapy and treated adults as well as kids, so referred me to them.”
Behavioural optometrist, SooJin Nam, commented, “Sean is a great example of Vision Therapy being successful with helping an adult with focusing problems as well as Strabismus. Strabismus is an incoordination problem caused by the brain not knowing how to use both eyes together. Usually it starts with the eyes seeing double – which causes confusion to the brain, hence it learns to switch one of the eyes off by turning it either ‘in’ or ‘out’. It is surprisingly common, affecting around 1 in 30 of the population.”
Vision Therapy involves teaching the patient to consciously become aware of how they are using their eyes through a series of activities which we have available at our practices. It’s a little like teaching someone how to ride a bike or learn how to play the piano, we teach them to learn how to use their eyes more efficiently.
“Research suggests that vision therapy is most successful with children, although the latest neuroplasticity research supports the success we have had with Sean in demonstrating that it also works well with adults. We have successfully treated patients with Vision Therapy so that surgery is no longer needed. Unfortunately, vision therapy still isn’t widely offered, resulting in people undergoing surgery that may have been avoidable”
An avid motorbike rider, Sean loves spear fishing, archery, clay pigeon shooting and rock climbing – all hobbies that rely on excellent vision. Today Sean can focus clearly on a single target without worrying about seeing double. He commented, “I would absolutely recommend Vision Therapy to anyone experiencing vision problems like I had. I wish I’d known about it before my surgeries, I could have avoided some of the issues I’ve had to overcome.”
“I used to cover one eye to help me see clearly when reading but apparently that did my vision more harm than good. I also used to struggle with the lights on the Harbour Bridge and would suffer double vision as I drove to work – now I find it much easier to focus and can avoid seeing double.”